Bronchiectasis is a rare lung disorder in which the bronchial tubes enlarge and fill with pockets where infectious bacteria may collect. This disorder results when, due to obstructions, previous infections or heredity, damage is done to the lung walls and the cilia, the tiny hairs that line and clean the bronchial tubes. Because the lungs cannot be properly cleaned, dust, mucus and bacteria accumulate and lead to infection.
The main symptom of patients with bronchiectasis is a persistent, foul-smelling cough full of greenish-yellow pus or phlegm. Though the patient does not feel ill or fatigued, bronchiectasis leaves the patient more susceptible to pneumonia and other infections.
A CT chest scan can confirm the presence of bronchiectasis. Once this condition has been confirmed, doctors can proceed with treatment, which typically involves a draining of the lungs three times daily in the patient’s home. The patient can perform the drainage on his or her own, with proper posture and hand movements.